We recently did a visit to a nearby winery on the Black Sage bench between Oliver and Osoyoos, British Columbia. This particular area is known for red wine production.
The wine grapes are now reaching their most luscious and will soon be harvested in stages, depending on the processing for the various wines they will become.
Some grapes will remain in the fields until the first frost. Among them are grapes that will be allowed to develop a certain type of “rot” and will be harvested to produce various kinds of dessert wines.
The Okanagan also produces ice wine. This means that the grapes freeze on the vine at temperatures between -1C to -8 C ( 30F – 18F). The frozen grapes are harvested at night and processed quickly so that they don’t defrost to spoil the concentration of sugar in the juice. Ice wine is a type of dessert wine, but is much more concentrated. It’s commonly served with cheese in order to get that lovely sweet/salty flavour combination.
The Okanagan is starting to come into its own as a wine-producing region and is branching out into lesser known varietals that are being handled well. If, like me, you enjoy a glass of wine with dinner or a nice dessert wine after dinner, a visit to some of the Okanagan’s many wineries might be if interest to you. If not, the scenery, beaches and walking and hiking trails are great!
The wine grapes are heavy and lush and ready for harvest.
Grapes have been cultivated and sold for thousands of years, a trade that started in Israel, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran and Turkey. At present, about 75 percent of the grapes grown worldwide are used to make wine. We certainly like our grape juice!